The evolution of modern building materials has created virtually endless possibilities when it comes to the seamless integration of fire pits into outdoor landscaping. A fire pit is no longer simply a functional hole in a cemented area or an iron brazier in the backyard.
These days a homeowner can literally flick a switch and turn on a gas-burning fire pit that is the focal point of an outdoor entertainment area that is safe, comfortable and highly customised.
Nathan Chapman, founder of building materials group Eva-Last, says fire pits and timber finishes used to be incompatible – but no more, thanks to advancements in composite decking and cladding technology.
“A garden, terrace or veranda can be transformed by taking advantage of the aesthetic beauty of natural timber finishes while being completely safe and suffering from none of the inherent drawbacks of real timber. Composite decking materials are ideal for landscaping outdoor living spaces to create comfortable, stylish and functional areas that will not deteriorate due to even the harshest environmental conditions,” he says.
While natural timber struggles to maintain its original finish and structural performance when subjected to weathering, composite materials such as Eva-Last’s Apex range of profiles perform and look for decades like they did on day one. It also means design elements used indoors can flow seamlessly to outdoor entertainment spaces with no worry about degradation of the appearance of the same materials used externally. This has opened up a whole new world of architectural design to include landscaping elements.
“A range like Apex represents the ultimate in lightweight composites with market-leading span performance and an appearance that is indistinguishable from that of natural timber. Apex eliminates all the secondary issues that makes timber unsuitable as an outdoor landscaping material, such as moisture retention, pedestrian slippage risk, surface damage, warping, splitting and burning,” says Chapman.
Designed for use in decking, cladding, fencing, screening and railing, Apex is purpose-designed to outperform all other materials in all weather conditions and comes with an incredible 30-year guarantee.
“That is three decades of guaranteed performance with almost no maintenance required in its functional life, aside from the occasional clean. An equally important consideration is Apex’s Bfl S1 fire resistance rating, which makes it ideal for use in both residential and commercial settings,” adds Chapman.
An appreciation of outdoor living goes hand in hand with environmental consciousness and Eva-Last’s composite decking and cladding materials are all manufactured using solar energy and using recycled plastics. “This is increasingly becoming an important consideration for homeowners who want the aesthetic appeal of natural timber without worrying about its provenance or impact on the environment,” he says.